The Zionist Genocidal War and Its Accomplices

In this article, Gilbert Achcar argues that Israel's current military aggression against Gaza constitutes a genocidal war, exceeding in its brutality anything Israel has done since 1948, with the support of Western powers that for the first time since WWII, are openly backing a campaign of genocide.

 

We sometimes hear from those who wish to mitigate the impact of what the State of Israel has been doing since Operation Al-Aqsa Flood that it was committing daily crimes and waging periodic wars anyway, so that its new onslaught on Gaza is nothing but a continuation of this old, permanent pattern. It is true, of course, that crime and aggression are two fundamental pillars of the Zionist state as a settler-colonial state based on war and “ethnic cleansing”. Nevertheless, downplaying the current aggression against Gaza and denying that it is qualitatively distinct from all previous tragedies that the people of Palestine have suffered since the Nakba until this day, converges with the fallacies that the Zionists and their supporters are trying to spread in pretending that the death toll numbers coming from Gaza are exaggerated for the purpose of propaganda.

The truth is that the current aggression against Gaza constitutes, in the clearest possible form, a genocidal war that includes mass murder and “ethnic cleansing”, two crimes against humanity in the classification of international law. These crimes exceed qualitatively everything committed by the Zionist armed forces since 1949 until today and are comparable to what happened during the Nakba. They even exceed the latter in terms of intensity of killing, destruction, and displacement. The Nakba of 1947-1949 was a war aimed at seizing the land of Palestine and practicing “ethnic cleansing” over it, whereby the overwhelming majority of the population of the occupied territory were turned into refugees, while a number of them estimated at more than 11,000 were killed, out of approximately 1.3 million of Arab inhabitants of Palestine at that time.

“The truth is that the current aggression against Gaza constitutes, in the clearest possible form, a genocidal war that includes mass murder and “ethnic cleansing”, two crimes against humanity in the classification of international law.”

As for the current aggression against Gaza, it has so far, in less than seven weeks, caused approximately 15,000 deaths, at the very least, out of approximately 2.4 million inhabitants of the Gaza Strip, with more than half of them displaced from the north of the strip to its south in preparation for their displacement out of Palestine, as far-right Zionist circles wish, or at least their gathering on the Egyptian border in refugee camps that would serve as concentration camps under the supervision of the Israeli army. And these are only the results of the first phase of the Zionist aggression, which targeted the northern part of the Gaza Strip, and should be followed by a second phase focused on its southern part, which would greatly exacerbate the number of casualties.

This is happening through a killing and destruction madness that exceeds anything witnessed in the world’s wars since the dropping of the atomic bombs on Japan in 1945. The matter has reached such a point that the New York Times has revealed the horror of what is occurring, even though the US government is directly complicit in the aggression. This was in an article by Lauren Leatherby, published on the 25th of this month, under the title, “The civilian population of Gaza, under an Israeli barrage of fire, is being killed at a historic rate”. The author of the report explained that the issue is not only related to the pace of the bombing, which amounted to 15,000 strikes until the present truce, but also to its quality, as Israel has been extensively using 2,000-pound bombs (900 kilograms), rarely used since World War II and the Korean and Vietnam wars.

The report quotes US military officials as saying that they have almost never used such a calibre in the present century, and that they have avoided using even 500-pound bombs because they are too large to be dropped on populated urban areas, such as Mosul in Iraq or Raqqa in Syria during the war against ISIS. During the battle of Mosul, which began in October 2016 and lasted nine months, about 10,000 people were killed between victims of ISIS and victims of the US-led international coalition, that is, two-thirds of the number of those killed by the Israeli campaign in Gaza in less than seven weeks.
What makes these numbers even more dangerous and horrific is that about 70% of those claimed by the Zionist genocidal machine in Gaza are women and children, a huge percentage unparalleled in any contemporary war. The New York Times report states that the number of children who died under the barrage of Israeli bombs in Gaza during the past seven weeks exceeds the total number of children killed last year in all the wars taking place in various global arenas, including the Ukraine war that began in February 2022.

Another report published by the Washington Post on the 13th of this month stated that the number of children killed by Israel in Gaza during the first month of its insane bombing exceeded the number of children killed in the wars in Yemen and Iraq, and amounted to a third of the number of children killed during ten years of war in Syria. The newspaper compared the 4,125 children killed in Gaza in one month with the following average numbers of children killed in one month of fighting in Iraq (19), Yemen (41), Afghanistan (56), and Syria (100). It is no secret that the killing of children, in particular, is a blatant feature of genocide as it expresses the will to annihilate the targeted people.

“What makes these numbers even more dangerous and horrific is that about 70% of those claimed by the Zionist genocidal machine in Gaza are women and children, a huge percentage unparalleled in any contemporary war.”

Another report published by the Washington Post on the 13th of this month stated that the number of children killed by Israel in Gaza during the first month of its insane bombing exceeded the number of children killed in the wars in Yemen and Iraq, and amounted to a third of the number of children killed during ten years of war in Syria. The newspaper compared the 4,125 children killed in Gaza in one month with the following average numbers of children killed in one month of fighting in Iraq (19), Yemen (41), Afghanistan (56), and Syria (100). It is no secret that the killing of children, in particular, is a blatant feature of genocide as it expresses the will to annihilate the targeted people.

All of these data demonstrate the great gravity of the genocidal war waged by the Zionist state against the people of Gaza since Operation Al-Aqsa Flood. This is not surprising, as the extreme thirst of revenge generated among Israeli Jews combined with the presence of the Zionist far right in power, made such insane violence very predictable. The matter was easy to anticipate, and hence the gravity of the support lent by Western governments to the Zionist onslaught under the pretext of Israel’s alleged right to “self-defence” (the number of those it has killed so far has exceeded ten times those it lost as a result of Al-Aqsa Flood)—a support that went as far as rejecting the call for a ceasefire, in addition to the United States, Germany, and others sending military reinforcements to Israel and to the eastern Mediterranean in support of Israel’s onslaught—is truly immense. This is the first time since the middle of the past century that these governments have openly supported a genocidal war. What is even more serious is the complicity of the governments of Arab countries, which have so far refrained from weaponizing oil despite their awareness that it constitutes the strongest means of pressure in their possession that can help the people of Palestine. That is because Western countries today fear the return of oil prices to the rise, not only for economic reasons but also and primarily because this would serve Russia’s interest in financing its war on Ukraine, at a time when it is facing difficulties in this regard.

Source >> Gilbert Achcar blog

Translated from the Arabic original published in Al-Quds al-Arabi on 28 November 2023.


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Gilbert Achcar’s newest book is The New Cold War: The United States, Russia and Ukraine, from Kosovo to Ukraine (2023).

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